Before the word fudge referred to the rich creamy treat we know today, it used be a word for a cheat or hoax. It’s been said that the word was first used pertaining to food in the 1880s when a batch of caramel didn’t turn out and the new discovery was named “fudge” to identify it as a mistake. One of the first recorded mentions of fudge was in a letter written in the late 1880s by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She wrote that a classmate’s cousin made fudge in 1886 in Baltimore and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Later in 1888, she obtained the recipe and made 30 pounds of fudge for an auction at the college. It didn’t take long for word to spread about this tasty confection.
Recipe Servings: 24
- Nonstick cooking spray, as needed to grease pan
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup milk
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and set aside.
- Combine the sugar, baking cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir to blend and then bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat and simmer. Do not stir again.
- Attach a candy thermometer to pan and cook until temperature reaches 238°F.
- Remove the mixture from the heat.
- Add the butter and vanilla, beating with a wooden spoon until the fudge loses its sheen. Do not under beat.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, letting it cool and harden before cutting.
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